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SmartCityX Unveils Initial Startups for Inaugural Program

18 stage-agnostic startups from 9 countries represent the foundation of the global SCX community

By Michael Proman, Managing Director, Scrum Ventures

Two months ago, we unveiled a new smart city initiative focused on bringing a diverse mix of stage-agnostic startups together along with some of the most iconic Japanese corporations and industry thought-leaders to better restore the vibrancy, appeal, and hope in cities across the world. This vision placed a particular emphasis on redefining an antiquated accelerator model by way of creating a community that supports two of the most basic, yet critical needs of every startup: revenue and relationships.

Taking a targeted and strategic approach, we have made tremendous progress in bringing this vision to life over the last 60 days — expanding our Japanese partners with the addition of SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD. and NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE WEST CORPORATION along with Fukui Prefecture, The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Kashima City / Kashima Antlers F.C. Co., Ltd., assembling a Leadership Circle that now exceeds 50 leading industry executives from corporate, public sector (municipal) and venture circles, and today, announcing the initial 18 startups that will be part of the inaugural SmartCityX community.

These “early startup acceptances” reflect the diversity of the SmartCityX community — representing 9 countries across the world. These startups offer cutting edge technologies that are making cities more equitable and inclusive, and fall into 6 sub-categories within the smart city space ranging from mobility, energy, connectivity, smart building and consumer products and services. Spanning from seed to growth stage, these 18 startups have raised a combined total of over $280 million dollars and show great promise in becoming the world’s next market leaders in this sector.

“These initial members of the SmartCityX startup community illustrate why I’m so excited to be part of the Leadership Circle,” said John Rossant, Chairman of NewCities Foundation and Co-founder and CEO of CoMotion. “Innovation in the city space is not only white-hot, it is also happening on a global basis. And this initial group of startups will likely grow to over 100 through the duration of the application and evaluation phase. I’m truly looking forward to getting to know these companies and others that will be applying prior to the deadline.”

SmartCityX was founded on the belief that now — more than ever — is the time to address generational problems and inefficiencies plaguing cities around the world. Technology can be used as a powerful resource in solving these complexities and enhancing the quality of life for our diverse communities, which is precisely why we have set out to identify these startups that can do exactly that. As we continue to find ourselves entrenched in a global pandemic, we recognize that today’s announcement is just the beginning of a much more substantive and important journey.

We will use the next month leading up to the November 30th application deadline to thoughtfully engage startups from around the world — evangelizing the narrative that has fueled the success of previous studio programs and localizing the opportunity for entrepreneurs that are bringing break-through technologies to the smart city space. We will also be growing our Leadership Circle to reflect the depth and breadth of the startup applicants and reinforce the broad-based value that we can provide. Below is the list of our early accepted, best-in class startups. Together, we have the ability to make an enduring impact and are excited to enable others to join this community!

Early Accepted SmartCityX Startups:



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Scrum Ventures

Scrum Ventures


We are an early stage venture firm. With experience and networks in both Silicon Valley and Japan, we help our portfolio companies achieve global opportunities.